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Marine receives rare meritorious promotion to gunnery sergeant

By 2nd Lt. Joe K. Thomas | | April 8, 2010

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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany officials conducted a rare meritorious promotion to gunnery sergeant Friday at the base theater.

Gunnery Sgt. Nelson Hammer, first sergeant, Headquarters and Support Company, MCLB Albany, is one of only 16 Marines in the entire Marine Corps who received the meritorious promotion, according to Marine Administrative Message 180/10.

“Hard work and dedication pays off a lot more than what many Marines think,” Hammer said. “I always thought of myself as a full-time Marine, not a part-time Marine. I always act and work like a Marine even when I’m not wearing a uniform. It’s important that other Marines feel the same way.”

“This type of promotion is very rare,” said Sgt. Maj. Scott Mykoo, sergeant major, MCLB Albany. “He is one of only a few Marines in the entire Marine Corps that is receiving a meritorious promotion to this grade, and he is receiving it while stationed here in Albany. Only the best of the best are selected. We are very fortunate.”

Hammer distinguished himself here as a staff noncommissioned officer by organizing two corporals courses, three Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training courses and planning for the Child Abuse Awareness Month proclamation ceremony, Mykoo said.

However, Hammer’s accomplishments are not limited to MCLB Albany. Before reporting to his current duty station, he served as a drill instructor for three years at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.

“Gunnery Sergeant Hammer has shown maturity beyond his years and this is why we are recognizing him today,” said Lt. Col. Donald Finn, director, Operations and Training Division, MCLB Albany. “The last time I was at Parris Island, every single person I approached knew Gunnery Sergeant Hammer. His former battalion commanding officer said that he would have him back in a heartbeat.”

Hammer will take over as the base company first sergeant, a billet that is well above his previous grade. This serves as a testament to his maturity and hard work, said Finn.

“The rigorous process for meritorious selection to gunnery sergeant begins at the installation level. Selection packages that survive the first round then move up to Marine Forces Command. From there the process moves to Marine Corps Installations East and then to Headquarters Marine Corps,” Mykoo said. “Everything gets looked at from deployments to successful completion of B-billet assignments, resident professional military education and working out of the norm of your job.”

The newly promoted gunnery sergeant had a very positive message for his fellow Marines.

“Just keep working hard. If you do, you can get where I’m at today.”

Hammer’s wife, CeCe, was also in attendance and took part in the ceremony by pinning her husband’s chevrons. He will begin his new post as company first sergeant immediately.


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